Today, over a thousand Kentuckians concerned about the future of our state’s environment, livelihood, culture, and people gathered on the steps of the capitol, capping off a weekend of protest that involved a handful of our local celebrities, including the more widely known Mr. Berry. This colorful group of folks carried signs, chanted chants, played music, hollered, swore a little bit, smiled a lot, passed around petitions, signed Valentine’s Day cards for the governor, and, well, supported a cause they believed in.
The “I Love Mountains” rally occurs every year about this time, around Valentine’s Day, when Congress is in session, as a way to push for clean-energy legislation and, at the same time, end mountain top removal.
I’d never been to a rally like this before, and though I’ll refrain from getting political, let me just say this:
It was pretty darn awesome.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand how complicated of a situation we find ourselves in. I know there are no easy solutions, and many of the folks I listened to today are not fair and balanced in their reporting.
Being surrounded by a group of passionate yet peaceful folks, who may be hollering but are hollering together, it was a great place to be. Old folks and young folks. Wheelchair-bound and stroller-bound. Dogs and guitars. Hippies and coal-miners. Hand-made signs and signs snazzy enough to have been used in presidential campaign. (If you’ve not read the slogans before, you might enjoy “topless mountains are obscene,” one of my favorites.)
This was a big crazy mob, and it was community.
I even got myself a new bumper sticker.